Recommendations for replacing a Boxee Box - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 02-25-2013, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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My Boxee Box is starting to run like complete rubbish at this point and as development for it has stopped I am considering replacing it with a new player.

My uses are primarily local streaming of HD content via ethernet. I am looking for something with an attractive and fast UI for displaying my movie and tv collection. Approximately 1500 movies and 50 different TV shows.

This will be hooked directly to a TV via hdmi.

I fell in love with the NMJ tablet app for the Popcorn Hour A-400, but the reviews so far have been pretty bad. It would definitely be a bonus if there was a player that had a similar tablet integration.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, there are so many player out there now.
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post #2 of 44 Old 02-26-2013, 03:15 AM
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Pivos XIOS DS, runs XBMC there are nightly builds and a very active community around it. However if you make heavy use of coverart with a large media library that will be a bit of an issue as the XIOS has very limited internal storage space and XBMC is designed with no limits at all in this area so you can run out very quickly, there is a mod in the Pivos forums that shifts the user data over to the micro sd card you can plug into the XIOS.

They really have to come up with a better system for light weight XBMC clients like these.
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post #3 of 44 Old 02-26-2013, 05:57 PM
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Here are a few options:

I feel your pain. I also have very large collection of movies and my Boxee box while sweet is sloow to update the list of movies to display.

Run plex on your NAS (or PC/ Mac / Linux Box) and get a roku.
There is a Plex client on the Roku (and Roku gives you neflix/hulu+/hboGo/Amazon prime etc...)

There are some boxes by Western Digital and I think also seagate that provide "play your local" movies like Boxee did.

A higher end box for such service can be had from popcorn hour with some of the more recent boxes offering more "muscle"
(so presumably a faster refresh of the list of movies).

While not a substitute for Boxee, here is something you will want to look at: Archos Video Player (on Android).
You need a modern Android tablet (something that runs Android 4.x+ and has enough juice to play your movies).
I have a Nexus 10 and it works like a charm!

You can view the app and some screen capture on play.google.com (search for archos video player).
The paid version is $5 and well worth it. Don't forget to install the free codex package which will increase the number of movies
that you can view.

This app will view/sniff your movies (over Windows CIFS / SAMBA) server (i.e. the windows share or NAS share of your movies collection).
It will retrieve all the cover images, reviews and categorize the whole thing for you (much like boxee).
But you have a cool Android finger interface which makes browsing your movie collection a million times nicer than using the little
boxee / Roku remote.

The app currently displays the movie on your tablet only.

For the time being, one could use an hdmi output cable to display on the TV but in the not too distant future, I fully expect
that Google will come up with an equivalent to Apple Air Play (i.e. a small TV device (like apple TV / Roku) to which you
can broadcast the screen of your phone/tablet.

It's a joy to browse and watch movies on your tablet and give one hope for a better TV interface in the near future.

Good luck!
- C
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post #4 of 44 Old 02-27-2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddubbin View Post

My Boxee Box is starting to run like complete rubbish at this point and as development for it has stopped I am considering replacing it with a new player.

My uses are primarily local streaming of HD content via ethernet. I am looking for something with an attractive and fast UI for displaying my movie and tv collection. Approximately 1500 movies and 50 different TV shows.

This will be hooked directly to a TV via hdmi.

I fell in love with the NMJ tablet app for the Popcorn Hour A-400, but the reviews so far have been pretty bad. It would definitely be a bonus if there was a player that had a similar tablet integration.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, there are so many player out there now.

I've read about this site for alternatives to the Boxee Box firmware: http://boxeeplus.com/. It's free, and at this point, you really don't have much to lose by giving it a try.
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post #5 of 44 Old 02-28-2013, 07:01 AM
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I would build a htpc, install XBMC, and add a remote. Done.
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post #6 of 44 Old 03-01-2013, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I was avoiding htpc because I am trying to find something as small, quiet and maintenance free as possible. Would just like something that I plugin and occasionally get firmware updates. I really loved the A400 when I saw the initial videos and tablet integration. I really want something with a good jukebox. So far the only things I really see that have the capabilities I want and the interface are the A400 and Dune.

The A400 seems to be having software issues and the Dune is over $300 and I don't think it has tablet integration like the A400.

All of the audio/video would be streaming from my WHS server. I am not sure if that factors in.
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post #7 of 44 Old 03-02-2013, 06:59 AM
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While my 2 Boxee Boxes are both running fine, I will be keeping an eye on the upcoming OUYA game console as that might have a very functional XBMC at a fraction of the price of an HTPC. I agree with small and maintenance free, that's why I switched from an HTPC to the Boxee Box in the first place. Hopefully, the OUYA media player features are good, I believe the Kickstarter supporters will be getting theirs at the end of March.
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post #8 of 44 Old 03-07-2013, 07:25 AM
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I moved from Boxee to PC-400 and couldnt be more pleased. did you have problems with popcorn hour?

Come at me Broseph
XBox live GT:Dubs4President
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-07-2013, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I have just heard bad reviews on PCH A400. I haven't tried it out myself.
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post #10 of 44 Old 03-14-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddubbin View Post

I have just heard bad reviews on PCH A400. I haven't tried it out myself.

I have the PCH-A400. It is actually quite good except that it doesn't like my Netgear switch and drops network access after sleeping. Different switch would solve that but I will just wait for a fix. It is a B+ player at this point in my opinion. A few months ago I bought an Intel NUC i3 based unit. Roughly the same size as an Apple TV. It is running XBMC under windows 8 and I couldn't be happier. Silent, fast, no maintenance and nothing, except Plex, really compares with XBMC.

philip
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post #11 of 44 Old 03-14-2013, 03:34 PM
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If strictly playing local content, you can try ntv550 available on ebay for 80 dollars, it does full bd iso menus also.
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post #12 of 44 Old 03-21-2013, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, I think I will have to look into XMBC more, I was really hoping to find something that would just work great out of the box.

I also have Amazon Prime and the ability to use Amazon Instant Video natively would be nice, but I haven't taken the time to research what units support it.
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Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

I have the PCH-A400. It is actually quite good except that it doesn't like my Netgear switch and drops network access after sleeping. Different switch would solve that but I will just wait for a fix. It is a B+ player at this point in my opinion. A few months ago I bought an Intel NUC i3 based unit. Roughly the same size as an Apple TV. It is running XBMC under windows 8 and I couldn't be happier. Silent, fast, no maintenance and nothing, except Plex, really compares with XBMC.

philip
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post #13 of 44 Old 03-22-2013, 09:57 PM
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I have the cheaper Celeron NUC running OpenELEC XBMC and it works really, really well. I use Amazon Prime and Hulu subscriptions, and the respective addons are fast and stable. I too have been through the pain of the Boxee, and I like having something that works. The whole cost was about $210.00 including RAM, power cord, and flash drive for the OS.
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post #14 of 44 Old 03-24-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drowningape View Post

I have the cheaper Celeron NUC running OpenELEC XBMC and it works really, really well. I use Amazon Prime and Hulu subscriptions, and the respective addons are fast and stable. I too have been through the pain of the Boxee, and I like having something that works. The whole cost was about $210.00 including RAM, power cord, and flash drive for the OS.

I haven't had time to look into the NUC yet so I have a bunch of questions that you might be able to easily answer.

Does the Celeron NUC run 1080p over local network fine?

How much ram are you using?

The OS is on an external flash drive?

Do you use it to access network shares? If so, is it responsive when accessing large shares?

Does it run very hot? Is it quiet?
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post #15 of 44 Old 03-24-2013, 06:05 PM
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I have the i3 NUC but am familiar with the Celeron one, though not as much as someone with one. It runs 1080p easily. It uses the same graphics as the i3 NUC. I have 4 gigs in mine. I also use an internal msata card. The msata card is what adds to the cost unfortunately.

I am glad you brought up fan noise. I can't stand fans and have gotten rid of a bunch of media players that claimed to have quiet fans. I almost didn't buy the NUC because of the fan. I have to admit that the NUC fan has been silent 99% of the time. I thought I heard it last night which really was unnerving. I upgraded to a newer bios and it seems to have gone back to being completely quiet. Even when I heard it it was nowhere near as annoying as the Boxee Box, Patriot Box Office, etc ... I am very sensitive to fan noise. I can't imagine anyone finding the NUC lacking from that perspective. If you are going the Celeron route then Shuttle has just come out with a small nettop which has no fan. I had an Ion based Shuttle for XBMC which I really liked. I would choose that over anything with a fan provided the processors were similar. You just can't get an i3 based system without one, but Intel has done a great job with it. The only other system with a fan that I can deal with is my Mac Mini.

I stream everything off a Synology NAS with 8TB's of shared space. The NUC handles that easily. The nice thing about win8 is you get netflix, hulu plus natively and there are addons for gulu plus for XBMC. In other words, the NUC is all you need.

My NUC does not run hot and I never turn it off.

philip
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post #16 of 44 Old 03-25-2013, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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How is boot time with Windows 8?
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post #17 of 44 Old 03-25-2013, 01:17 PM
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Boot time is fast. Not an issue.

Philip
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post #18 of 44 Old 03-26-2013, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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So I3 is necessary for Windows 8? Celeron would be okay for OpenElec?
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post #19 of 44 Old 03-26-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddubbin View Post

So I3 is necessary for Windows 8? Celeron would be okay for OpenElec?

An mSata drive is required for windows 8, but you don't need an i3. Windows 8 has a native Netflix app that uses hardware acceleration. I haven't used windows on the celeron yet, but other users report that it flys.
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post #20 of 44 Old 03-26-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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drowningape, with openelec on a flash drive, does XBMC cache metadate(artwork, etc) on the flash drive? Do they load quickly or would I be better off using a small ssd to install openelec on?

Any idea what the RAM requirements are for Windows8 xbmc vs OpenElec?
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post #21 of 44 Old 07-03-2013, 02:27 PM
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I was looking for a new XBMC htpc, since i was still using a SFF PC and i wanted to have something smaller then this.
What i found was indeed the Intel NUC with Celeron and a guide to boot from network. This means i don't have to buy a mSata disk, just the memory (1GB) and if needed the WiFi.
I bought it in Holland for just under €180,- (without the wifi).

For more informatie on this:

Intel NUC Specs:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/desktop-motherboards/desktop-kit-dccp847dye.html

Openelec PXE:
http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Network_Boot_-_NFS

Something in german except the CLI, thats in english:
http://ernst1980.de/synology-nas/

Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR8pH-y0vd0
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post #22 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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I can't think of a great place to ask this, but I'm assuming XBMC supports HD audio formats. Can it play 3D rips?
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post #23 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 06:10 PM
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Hi,
I am also thinking to replace the Boxee, not because the Dts problem, but because i am afraid regarding the recent aquisition from Samsung.
The main feature I am looking is Automatic Subtitles Download.
Does anyone know any Good Player with this feature?
Thanks
Antonio
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post #24 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 06:33 PM
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I would recommend one of the WD devices, either a Live Hub or a Live Streaming Media Player depending on if you want a hard drive on board or not. I have a WD Live Plus, a WD Live Hub, a Roku XD and am running XBMC on a reasonably powerful PC. I keep all of my media ( near 2000 movies, many TV series and 1000s of CD Rips and concerts) on a file server with 10 drives. All of the products work well for what they do, but the WD Live Hub is by far my favorite for playing media from my home network. It also seems to make sense if you are replacing a Media Device and are just looking to swap it with another one that is pretty much ready to go out of the box. You can use it as simple as you like, or customize the themes / movie sheets etc.

And no, it is not even close to as configurable as XBMC, but it is a lot easier to build, since you don't have to. Out of the box it will play pretty much every Audio and Video format you can throw at it.

Good Luck

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post #25 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPearl View Post

I would recommend one of the WD devices, either a Live Hub or a Live Streaming Media Player depending on if you want a hard drive on board or not. I have a WD Live Plus, a WD Live Hub, a Roku XD and am running XBMC on a reasonably powerful PC. I keep all of my media ( near 2000 movies, many TV series and 1000s of CD Rips and concerts) on a file server with 10 drives. All of the products work well for what they do, but the WD Live Hub is by far my favorite for playing media from my home network. It also seems to make sense if you are replacing a Media Device and are just looking to swap it with another one that is pretty much ready to go out of the box. You can use it as simple as you like, or customize the themes / movie sheets etc.

And no, it is not even close to as configurable as XBMC, but it is a lot easier to build, since you don't have to. Out of the box it will play pretty much every Audio and Video format you can throw at it.

Good Luck

-MPearl

Well, I can say that as someone who really likes the UI of the Boxee Box, the WDTV Live SMP is not an adequate replacement. Sure, it plays everything I've tried with no issues, but the UI is not in the same ball park. It's far better than some of the merely functional UIs out there, but does not hold a candle to the Boxee Box UI.

Hence why I'm currently researching other options.
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post #26 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 11:29 PM
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@Irishdoom, I haven't used a Boxee so hard for me to compare, but the OP is looking to replace the device with something else. I like XBMC very much for it's configurability but very different that a small device. Another piece for me has been finding the correct theme and making all the linksheets in Thumbgen for the the WD devices. The basic Mochi setup is pretty stripped down, but a good theme (I'm using Good Bye Black Mamba) makes a heck of difference and looks nothing like the standard setup. Admittedly, we then get into putting int he time to do all the modding required to get that setup which negates the "just open the box" theory.

Like I said, have not yet had the opportunity to try out the Boxee so not fair for me to compare while you obviously have tried both. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play around with one soon. You have me intrigued, If you think the UI is that much better I'm certainly interested in checking one out.

I'm curious, why research other options if you already know you like the Boxee interface that much? Is everyone worried about the Samsung purchase and what that will do to the future of the product? I see them on Amazon at what I would consider a pretty reasonable price. Maybe now is the time for me to grab one while still available.

-MPearl
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post #27 of 44 Old 07-09-2013, 08:24 AM
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The Boxee Box is a great box in a lot of ways, it just has flaws, exactly as every other streamer does. But nobody has done an out of the box movie wall as well as the Boxee Box, and its UI is still one of the best you can get. It's fatal flaw is HD audio formats, it can't play em right. It also seems some folks have started to have performance issues as time has gone on. I know that my Box isn't as snappy as it was the day I got it, and it will occasionally hang and have other problems that it didn't used to have.
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post #28 of 44 Old 07-17-2013, 05:56 AM
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My favorite is the Little Black Box. This has been designed specifically for running xbmc, comes preloaded. I've ordered one myself.
http://www.boxtoptheater.com/collections/pure-xbmc/products/the-little-black-box
Will be available this week Thursday/Friday, Outputs at 1080p resolution, Read the specs, has a very nice remote, can even be used on a non HDMI TV.
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post #29 of 44 Old 07-17-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo72 View Post

My favorite is the Little Black Box. This has been designed specifically for running xbmc, comes preloaded. I've ordered one myself.
http://www.boxtoptheater.com/collections/pure-xbmc/products/the-little-black-box
Will be available this week Thursday/Friday, Outputs at 1080p resolution, Read the specs, has a very nice remote, can even be used on a non HDMI TV.

If that box works as advertised, it would be awfully good.
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post #30 of 44 Old 07-17-2013, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom View Post

If that box works as advertised, it would be awfully good.

Looks really interesting Paulo72. If is does all that the website lists, runs XBMC cleanly, and has a 4TB internal, it seems like a really good deal. The last thing I need is another media player, but this might be hard to resist.

-MP
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